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Sometimes life imitates art, but in McKenna Grace’s case, life mimicked art a bit too closely.
The Handmaid’s Tale actress revealed that she underwent spinal surgery in October, the same night an episode of the Hulu dystopian series aired that saw her character, Esther Keyes, wake up in a hospital bed.
While Grace did not explain what caused her to have the surgery, she shared that a month later, she’s recovered and will “elaborate more about all of this” because “who I am and want to be was truly changed.”
“Social media only reflects what we want people to know—often we don’t see the ugly, hard, less-flattering sides of a person and their life,” Grace said in a social media post that featured a video of her in the hospital post-surgery and footage of her posing for a recent photo shoot. “For me, it’s been easier to hide my struggles and insecurities and maybe write about them in songs, but that didn’t fix them.”
She went on to thank her surgeon, Dr. Skaggs, his physician’s assistant Morgan, his nurse Elaine, her team of nurses, her parents and her friends “who showed me that they are here in the exciting/fun times, but would also be there in the absolute lowest moment of my life.” Grace ended her post by encouraging people to watch the season five finale of The Handmaid’s Tale.
The actress joined the series in season four as 14-year-old Gilead wife Esther and quickly made her mark on it when she joined June’s (Elisabeth Moss) rebel movement. But due to her busy schedule (she also currently stars in Peacock’s A Friend of the Family limited series and has four projects in postproduction), she only was able to appear in three episodes of the current season.
Those scenes, however, were very impactful to the series. The scene she references in her post was of Esther waking up from a coma, in a hospital bed, and being told she is pregnant after being raped by a Gilead commander. In a season finale interview with showrunner Bruce Miller, he suggested that Esther will return for the sixth and final season of the Emmy-winning series.
Jackie Strause contributed to this story.
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